Parenthood is a mixed blessing of joys and struggles for everyone. When you’re someone with a disability you face special challenges. With a little ingenuity and perseverance, you can meet those challenges and focus on the joys. Parental Advice Week brings you some top tips.
Preparation is key.
One of the best keys for managing those first few years of parenting with a disability is home preparations and adaptations. Being able to efficiently navigate and maneuver are even more necessary when you’re exhausted from tending a colicky baby or dealing with the terrible twos. What preparations you’ll require depends on your specific situation. Some of the basics that can help you with childcare skills are removing tripping hazards, using non-slip rugs and mats, and labeling children’s food with textured tape or braille labels for meal preparation. Consider installing grab bars in tubs and showers to allow you to assist in bathing your children. Thoughtfully evaluate the accessibility of your entire home, and make modifications before your baby arrives. You can always do more later, but the more you can do now, the better!
Tools and tricks.
There are many devices and tools you can use to make parenting easier. Some are designed especially for those with disabilities and some aren’t. A little creativity will go a long way when it comes to your baby equipment. Here are some ideas:
Tech to the rescue.
With so many technological devices and apps available, it’s smart to take advantage of their capabilities. As the University of Idaho explains, assistive devices and parenting software offer bells and whistles aplenty, allowing parents to better communicate with their children, stay more organized, and better manage the hands-on duties of childcare. A mom with a cognitive impairment can use parent-oriented scheduling apps for keeping track of feedings, medications and medical appointments. A dad who is visually impaired can use Braille formatting on his computer to help his youngster with homework. For people with hearing impairments there are apps which can greatly enhance parenting, improving communication face-to-face and on devices, and there are apps that “hear” nearby sounds and draw your attention to them - a boon when your little one is on the go!
Parenthood is tough, so tending to your needs can be a vital component. As Psychology Today explains, engaging in a self-care program prevents burnout and allows you to maintain your energy and focus, helping you to be a better parent. Make sure your body and mind are cared for. Get plenty of sleep, reduce the stress of your daily life, engage in some fun activities, and stay physically active. Establish a healthy pattern now and when your baby arrives, keep it up! Don’t get so caught up in your duties as a parent that you neglect your self-care routine. As your child grows she or he will be watching you. You’ll be modeling what life should look like, and rushed, frantic, tired and cranky aren’t the messages you want to send.
Meet parenting challenges.
With a handful of preparations and tools, you can meet the challenges parenthood throws your way. Make sure your home is ready, get equipment on hand, and develop a self-care program. You’ll be all set when your bundle of joy arrives!
Parental Advice Week strives to bring you the best advice that's tried and tested by real parents like you. If you have any advice you think we're missing, let us know!
When it comes to being a single parent, there are some hard truths you have to face:
The above only scratch the surface regarding the challenges of single parenthood. Often the problems single parents face are particular to their situation, including their family, kids, and environment. However, there is a certain problem that just about every single parent could use some help with: time management. As a single parent, there are three key factors to managing your family’s time: establishing a routine, staying organized, and communicating your schedules. Parental Advice Week wants to help you manage your time better through these three key areas:
Time Management as a Single Parent
Time is arguably your most important resource as a single parent. If you don’t manage your time efficiently, you won’t have enough to work on your career, be there for your kids, and in the end, maybe have a few spare moments for yourself. If you find yourself constantly scrambling for extra minutes in your day, try the following.
Establishing a Routine
A routine is every single parent’s not-so-secret weapon for time management. Routines provide your children with a sense of security while helping instill self-discipline. Set up three different routines based on the times of day you spend at home: morning, after school/work, and before bed. Work in daily chores into each routine so they are always done. For instance, if you unload the dishwasher in the morning, you have it empty throughout the day so you can put dirty dishes in there rather than letting them pile up in the sink. Run the dishwasher before you go to bed, and it’ll be ready to empty again in the morning.
If your house could stand a little more organization, the first step is a big clean out. Anything you don’t need should be trashed or donated. Be ruthless! The less clutter you have around the house, the more organized and focused your family will be. Once you’ve figured out what you want to keep, pick a “home” for it inside the house. If every item has a place it is supposed to go, you (and your kids!) know what to do with it if somebody leaves it out. Check out this informative guide from Redfin for more home-organization ideas.
As your children grow up, their schedules become more varied and complicated. It can be difficult to stay on top of everything you have to do as well as their busy lives. To help communication, create a shared calendar—either a physical one in the kitchen or office or a digital one you can share with all family members—where family members can add events, deadlines, and special occasions that matter to them. Another good idea is creating a group chat or text chain for everybody in the family. By streamlining digital communication, everybody can stay informed and never feel left out.
When it comes to being a single parent, there are many challenges you face. At the heart of these challenges is time management. When you are parenting by yourself, it can be difficult to fit everything you need to do in a single day, week, or even month. Effective time management is crucial for single parents. By establishing a routine, staying organized around the home, and communicating schedules between family members, your family can more effectively manage their time for a happier, healthier life.
When your child is planning to go travelling it can be stressful for both of you — it doesn't matter how old they are. But, you can make things easier for them and ensure that their trip goes as smoothly as possible by taking steps to make sure they'll be financially secure while they're away.
Here, we'll give you some top tips to help your kids manage their money while they're travelling. You'll be able to relax in the knowledge that they have everything they need. Read on to find out more.
Have access to their bank accounts
Before they jet off on their adventure, ask them if they would be okay with you having online access to any bank accounts they might be using while they're away. This will allow you to keep an eye on their transactions and let them know if their funds are running low — this will be especially helpful if their access to the internet is limited.
It's important that you tell the relevant banks that your child will be travelling well in advance of them leaving home. If you don't, there's a chance their cards could be blocked if they use them abroad, as this might be seen as suspicious activity. You should also ask about any charges they might incur when using their debit card overseas.
Don't give them a lump sum of money
If you're funding their travels, it's wise to give your child a regular allowance, rather than giving them a lump sum before they start their journey. This will help them to budget and, if their purse or wallet is stolen at any point, they won't lose all of their money.
You can give them regular cash injections by transferring money into their bank account, or loading it onto a prepaid multi-currency card. Which? has a guide to prepaid cards that explains what you should look for when choosing one.
Make sure they get a good deal on their travel money
If your child is going to be exchanging their money for foreign currency, you should make sure they get the best rates possible. It's important that you check the exchange rates every few days in the weeks leading up to their departure, according to H&T's guide to buying travel money. This will allow you to keep an eye on how they fluctuate and, after a while, you'll be able to tell when the rates are good.
If they're going to be exchanging money while they're away, tell them to download a smartphone app that will give them live updates and send them notification if there are any significant shifts in the exchange rates. XE offers a range of currency apps for iOS and Android that are perfect for this.
Encourage them to get a job
Your kids should have a great time while they're away, but try to encourage them to take casual jobs during their travels. This will help to fund their adventure and take some of the strain off you. Plenty of travellers take bar jobs, teach English abroad, and work in hotels or hostels. Just One Way Ticket has a list of 50 ways your kids could make money while travelling abroad that offers plenty of advice and inspiration. Be sure to send it to them — it might just give them the kick they need to start paying their own way while they're travelling.
Know what to do in an emergency
Like with anything, you can plan and prepare as much as you like, but things can still go wrong. So, it's wise to have a plan in place in case your kid gets into trouble while they're away.
There's no good time for your cards and money to be stolen, but it can be particularly troublesome when you're travelling. If this happens to your son or daughter while they're away, don't panic — it's still possible to help them out. For example, you can use the Western Union system to send money almost anywhere in the world, and the recipient doesn't need access to a bank account. There are more than 500,000 Western Union agent locations in the world, which means you should be able to send money to your kids, wherever they might be.
You should also ensure that they have phone numbers for the relevant embassies or consulates. This will be very helpful if they find themselves stranded without any money and can't get in touch with you.
Sending your kids off on their travels can be very stressful, but ensuring they can manage their money while they're away should help. Take the tips we've listed here on board to ensure their trip goes as smoothly as possible.
Children can be notoriously fussy eaters. Whether it's an aversion to anything green or an obsession with turkey dinosaurs, trying to encourage healthy eating to fuel those little bodies can seem like an almost impossible task. While there is no miraculous method that will solve every eating problem, here are some ways that you can get your kids to eat healthy.
Have fun with food
Life is a game when you're little, and children learn most when they are playing. Food, however, can seem like a bit of a chore – it's taking away from valuable play time! – especially if they are having to sit down to eat a boring meal. A plate of bangers and mash just doesn't seem very engaging when compared to the action of a game and the added nagging to eat properly, sit sensibly, use your knife and fork correctly won't make it any easier. So make it fun!
While manners are important, actually getting tricky eaters to try food that is good for them is a bigger priority. Relax, don't nag, and just enjoy your meal. If they pick up a carrot to munch on with their fingers well, at least they're having some veggies and they'll be learning about different textures at the same time.
And you can bring out your artistic side! A plate of bangers and mash can very quickly become a tower of sausages on a mash potato hill with a peas and gravy moat. You could even turn the meal into a story with your child, roping the eating into the narrative to encourage their participation. The meal becomes another form of play rather than a chore.
Older children may be harder to convince that their meal is part of a fairy tale but that doesn't mean you can't make food fun for them. Get them involved in the presentation side of things and see what happens. Meals where they can get creative, like DIY pizzas or fajitas, will let them get hands-on with their food and can encourage them to branch out from their usual choices. After all, it's easier to make a picture on a pizza if you choose a variety of toppings rather than sticking to plain cheese.
Get them involved
A fussy eater can make preparing dinner a chore. Don't you hate it when you have to make multiple meals to accommodate differing tastes? It uses up a lot of time and effort. Rather than trying to tackle it all yourself, stressing out about the time you're wasting on food that probably won't be eaten, why not recruit your kids to help you out instead?
Children love to feel like they're being given special responsibilities, so roping them into helping you make dinner can be fun for them while also making them more aware of the effort that goes into keeping them fed. Obviously the given tasks will need to be supervised and chosen based on their age and ability – and clean up may be worse than if you'd just grabbed those beloved turkey dinosaurs – but cooking with the kids gives you the opportunity to prep healthy home-made meals that they will feel more inclined to eat. They made it after all!
Cooking together also provides great learning opportunities, opening discussions about everything from nutrition to where our food comes from, and will give them life skills that they can carry into adult life. And you can teach them how to clean up after themselves too!
You don't have to limit their involvement to the kitchen, however. Eating healthy is a lot easier when there's good food in the house, so why not let them help at the supermarket? Have them help you with making a list of meals and then they can go on a quest to find items at the shop. Round the adventure out with a final prize; picking a new fruit or vegetable for to try together. They learn more about where food comes from, along with a touch of budgeting, and you get to remind them that they chose whichever meal they argue about later.
Play hide-and-seek with veggies
When the kids aren't helping you prep meals, your inner spy has the opportunity to come out. Quite often it's the idea of veggies that they don't like, not the taste, meaning that the children are unlikely to complain if they don't know they're there. This is where a blender becomes your best friend. You can blitz a multitude of nutritious goldmines into pasta sauces, curries, and smoothies, and your little ones will guzzle them up completely unaware that you're pumping them full of healthy things. Different fruits and vegetables will give you a range of flavours to choose, meaning you can adapt things according to the tastes of you and your family. Even without a blender, vegetables can be chopped into little pieces and thrown into whatever you're cooking for a nutritional boost. Spinach is great for this – it can be chopped into tiny pieces and shrinks down quickly – but finely chopped carrots and other vegetables will give you texture and variety.
Looking after kids is hard – you're constantly working to keep them healthy and happy but they often feel like they're working against you. Food can be one of the biggest battles. Sometimes, even after all your efforts, they still would rather have plain toast than even taste what you've made. Don't beat yourself up about it; many children go through a phase of only eating a limited selection of food. And, as tempting as it is, don't push them too much. You getting upset or constantly nagging them to eat will only cause them to push back, building a negative association with the healthy food you want them to have.
Instead, keep presenting them with options and trying to engage them in the preparation of food. Live by example, showing them that you are willing to try new foods and that you like certain foods because you know they're good for you. Let their understanding of nutrition and how it helps their bodies build. Eventually you'll find that they decide to diversify their eating habits themselves and they will be far happier having made that choice on their own.
Let us know on Twitter how you get your little ones to eat healthy @ParentWeek or with #ParentalAdviceWeek
Reading with your baby is a fantastic way to bond, as well as to teach them the basics of reading. It’s something the two of you can enjoy, and even when they grow up they’ll remember and cherish those tattered books that have been sitting in the attic for years.
Here are our top picks for children books aged 0-3, click on the covers for more details.
The ‘That’s not My…’ Series – Fiona Watt
A fantastic series of little books for young babies which all feature a new animal and material for your child to touch. Bringing in a tactile element can make the experience far more attention keeping, and there are books in the series for every animal imaginable.
If you think we missed something out, or want to upload a picture of you reading with your baby, tweet us @ParentWeek
For something so small, a new baby can generate a lot of 'stuff', and travelling with a little one is no exception. By the time you've packed enough clothes, nappies, and wipes along with feeding equipment, muslins, and the rest of your day to day baby paraphernalia, the chances are you'll have exceeded not only your luggage allowance, but your partner's too!
It's not just the additional luggage to think about, but also how your little one will cope with the flight, and what the best destination would be.
Here are just a few things to consider:
First, look at the flight time that will be involved if you're heading abroad. Think about how long you would realistically want to spend on a flight with your little one before it all gets just a little too much. We'd recommend nowhere further than 2-4 hours away, so look at destinations as close as France or as far as Tenerife and the other Canary Islands.
Make sure wherever you are planning your holiday, you look at the average weather of the destination at the time of year you plan to visit. Extremely high temperatures can cause severe distress for your baby, not to mention health dangers: dehydration, accidental sunburn, heatstroke, to name just a few.
Speak to the hotel you are hoping to stay at well before you book, to check that the accommodation has everything you could possibly require for a stay with a baby in tow.
Draw up a wish list of what the hotel might have and find one that matches your needs.
The idea of baby's first family holiday can often be so exciting for mum and dad that budgets go out of the window and it's easy to get carried away.
Do remember that your baby will not have any memories of the holiday, so there's no need to spend a fortune. Just book somewhere that your bank balance will thank you for and don't be tempted to splurge unnecessarily.
If most of your money is going on nappies and powdered milk and maternity leave pay isn't the best, really think hard about whether it would be best to postpone a holiday until baby is a little older and budgets aren't quite so tight.
Other Passengers - Although some may find this a bit controversial, when heading abroad with a baby it can be a clever idea to invite friends or other family members along. Perhaps the child's grandparents would like to be a part of baby's first holiday and, this also means there will be more people to help share the load of keeping the little one fed, watered and happy for the duration of the break.
It also means mum and dad might be able to get some alone time together, even if just for one evening, whilst grandma and granddad take on babysitting duties.
So with all this in mind, find somewhere to go and enjoy your holiday, you deserve it!
Show us your holiday snaps on Twitter @ParentWeek
Coming home with a new baby for the first time is an incredible experience, encompassing an entire range of emotions, from fear and worry to elation and excitement. However, coming home with your second baby can be a little overwhelming.
Not only do you have a precious new bundle of joy, but also your first child to think about. It's natural to have concerns about how a new baby will impact your existing family unit and to want to make the transition from one to two as smooth as possible.
Keep introductions short
Both parents will be excited about a new baby, but also anxious about how their new little one will impact their family. The new arrival can be unsettling for an older sibling, particularly if they are still just a toddler themselves. A big brother or sister will be inquisitive and very curious about the noises and movements the new baby will make. Most toddlers find all the attention is on baby and not them, so this can cause regression and tantrums.
Keep introductions to the new baby short and sweet. Give lots of praise to big brother (or sister!) and ask them to be gentle. Then distract them with something else, otherwise you might find yourself being negative all the time as they try to poke the new baby’s eyes when being inquisitive.
When you have visitors ask them to speak to your older child first rather than go straight over to the baby.
Prepare your little one
Before the new baby arrives, read stories with your older child about having a new brother or sister. Once the baby is born, let your toddler express their feelings without reproach. Be calm and positive. Let them know that while things will change, they'll still be just as important.
Usually breastfeeding is much easier the second-time round as your body has been through it all before, so not only will you feel more comfortable handling your teeny bundle but you’ll also have more milk which is usually available sooner than with your first.
Your toddler may become bored if you sit down to breastfeed often, so it is helpful to create activities around breastfeeding that only happen at or during feeding times, for example, book, bed and baby time where you get your toddler into your bed with a book and his bottle and while you snuggle up, breastfeed baby and read a book at the same time.
Remember that breastfeeding second time needs to be efficient. Unless you have a very patient toddler, you’ll probably only have 30 minutes per feed during the day. Use breast massage or compression to keep your milk flowing and baby swallowing throughout the feed. The more your baby swallows, the shorter your feeds will be.
You may find that you need to introduce expressing earlier with your second baby than you did with your first child.
Create one-to-one time with the older sibling
It’s important to try to still have one-to-one time with the older sibling without the baby. So, when the new baby is having a nap, dedicate play time to your older child; that way they won’t feel the need to start attention seeking behaviour which can turn into a temper tantrum.
Feeding and weaning routines
Get organised – cooking meals in advance and freezing them prior to birth will help ease the pressure of cooking meals in the first few weeks after baby is born. For toddlers, this is very important as they are still very much in the weaning stages. At this age, a child requires three balanced meals and two healthy snacks per day to achieve their required calorie intake.
Try to maintain your toddler’s feeding routine. There have been major changes in the family dynamic, so trying to keep some familiarity in your toddler’s routine will be comforting.
Your toddler may regress slightly and insist that mummy feed them after seeing the new sibling being fed by mummy – even if they were happily feeding themselves before. Be prepared to cope with extra demands, and try to ease your toddler’s feelings of insecurity by offering one-on-one time with them as often as possible. You can also cook their favourite meals and give them lots of hugs and kisses as often as you can.
Include your toddler as much as possible
The more secure your toddler feels, the less rivalry you can expect, as your toddler won’t see the new baby as a threat. Giving your first child a sense of responsibility and ownership of their little brother or sister will quickly get them on board and creates the opportunity for you to make a fuss over them every time they help.
For example, ask them to fetch a nappy, wipes, find a dummy, find a soft toy for the baby, sing baby a song. All these things will make them feel important and a valued member of the team. Of course, they'll get bored eventually and leave you in peace to breastfeed your new-born.
Let your little one find their own role as an older sibling. Resist the urge to put pressure on them to love the baby or help too much. Give your toddler opportunities to get involved but don’t worry if they don’t always want to.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Having two babies at different development stages is exhausting. It’s probably closer to triple the work, so preparation is key. Your physical and mental health is going to be stretched so it’s time to be honest and practical about the support you’re going to need, not just to meet your children’s needs but your own as well. Getting additional help either from friends or family or paying for a cleaner can take the pressure off.
However, be firm with visitors. Family might be desperate to visit the new baby but parents need to be clear when they need to their space. Give them a time slot that suits you, and maybe a reminder to bring a cake with them.
Sleep routine for toddlers
When it comes to sleep, and with all your older child's daily life, it’s best to try to keep their same routine as this will also provide security in their changing world.
The main issue is whether your toddler will go into a toddler bed so the new baby can have their cot. This is a big decision and would need to have been done before baby arrives.
Don't forget your relationship
Some couples experience relationship problems when children are young because the demands are so high. You know how up and down you can feel with a new baby, and there may be times when you feel guilty that your attention is so divided between your children, leaving very little time for yourself and your partner. Make sure you talk to each other, be kind and work as a team.
Try to relax and enjoy it – and don't put too much pressure on yourself
The good news is you’ve done this before and can feel confident in your own abilities to be a positive parent. You’ve got plenty of recent experience and most of the resources and equipment needed for caring for a new-born, you can do this.
We know it's the most important meal of the day, but let's be honest, breakfast can also be one of the most chaotic - a mad scramble to get the little ones fed as part of the morning mayhem, whilst preparing for a busy day ahead.
So how can you make the most of breakfast for your child?
Breakfast really is such an important meal, and the nutritional benefits of starting the day with a real energy boost.
Start your little one off with a good breakfast habit, it will serve them well in later life. And this goes for parents as well, we know eating breakfast as a family is a struggle with a baby, but many mums with little ones aged 6 to 18 months don’t have a daily breakfast themselves, which is dangerous and harmful to their overall health. Remember to look after yourself, not just your kids.
Parents eating breakfast is a predictor of their children eating breakfast too. So, getting into the habit of eating breakfast as a family can benefit everyone, as little ones develop good habits (and evidence shows that food habits formed within the first year are hugely influential on shaping habits later in childhood and even into adolescence) and the rest of the family get back on track with a healthy start to the day.
Studies also show that families who eat together have better diets all around – and tend to eat more fruit and vegetables.
It’s not just about nutrition. Pulling your baby’s highchair up to the breakfast table to eat with the family also makes it a shared experience and shows that breakfast is an important meal. You’ll find your little one will soon be copying how you eat, developing their communication skills and building their confidence.
Top tip: Try starting the day with a relaxed breakfast together. Try not to rush – getting up 15 minutes earlier will make breakfast a far more relaxed affair.
Why is eating breakfast so important for children and parents?
Healthy, quick, and simple breakfast ideas
Breakfast is important for both you and your children, helping to prepare you for the day and letting you spend some quality time together.
Don't ignore it. Enjoy it!
This blog was written by NowBaby.co.uk, official media partner of Parental Advice Week 2017. Check out their website for parenting resources and support.
Technology is becoming more and more a part of our daily lives. Our phones, cars, even our homes are becoming smarter and increasingly connected. But with children spending more time on consoles, computers, and apps, it can feel like technology is set against us, keeping us from our kids.
For parents who may not be as tech-savy as their kids, or who want to get back to some classic quality time, we’ve put together five ways for you to spend more time with your child that don’t rely on technology.
It’s psychologically proven that too much screen time can be negative for children, so here are some of our top tips on how to connect with your child and show them ways to have fun without technology.
Recommendations from parents can contribute to a shared point of reference, and there’s something special about having a shared favourite book.
Finding something that interests them that you can incorporate into some kind of creative narrative will engage them far more than any virtual experience, help nurture their creativity, and will create some memories that you can cherish forever.
However you choose to spend time with your child this summer, you’ll grow closer together, and ultimately enjoy that quality time far more than you would doing anything else.
Brought to you by the team at Fundamentally Children – the independent accrediting organisation for The Children’s Activities Association (CAA)
There are so many out-of-school clubs available, from arts & crafts to diving, dance, football, and acting that sometimes it’s hard for parents to choose! What is generally agreed however is that activities are a fantastic way to help find that spark that ignites your child’s passion, supporting them to make new friends, enhancing their confidence and developing new skills. With the CAA now on-hand to help parents make informed choices about providers, many activities offering a free trial class and the long summer ahead – THIS is the time to get active!
Each club will have its own specific benefits - learning new techniques in arts and crafts will expand your child’s creative side, team sports are great for physical development and working with others - but there a wealth of advantages to out-of-school activities, whatever class or club takes their fancy!
Research last year funded by the Nuffield Foundation (1) found that children taking part in organised sports or other physical activities outside of school was associated with the development of enhanced prosocial skills.
2. Children are likely to do better at school
The Nuffield Foundation study (1) also linked academic attainment with out-of-school activities. Children who attended clubs such as Cub Scouts and Brownies, choir, arts & crafts, chess, drama or physical activities had higher scores at Key Stage 2 in Maths and English.
It may be that being part of a club increases children’s confidence, both inside and outside the classroom. For example, a child who takes part in a drama club may feel more relaxed about speaking out in class. Mastering new skills at out-of-school clubs can give children the confidence they need to take on new topics in class, without being put off at the first hurdle.
3. Building perseverance and resilience
Children can be fearful of trying new things; they may be worried about getting things wrong or they may be scared of failure. Encouraging children to try new activities, helping them to celebrate success and move on from failures will enable them to challenge negative attitudes.
Through succeeding in something new, they will discover a new found confidence in themselves and their abilities. This confidence will then transfer to other areas of their lives and can give children a more positive, relaxed mindset. Learning that they don’t need to be perfect at everything can make taking on new activities more enjoyable.
According to the NHS, some scientists believe that being active can improve wellbeing by bringing about a sense of greater self-esteem, self-control and the ability to rise to a challenge. Participation in sport and recreational activities can reduce stress, anxiety and depression (3) and provide a sense of value, belonging and attachment (4).
5. Giving parents a break means children have happier role models
Parent-centred parenting (5) is based on the idea that parents are vital role models, and those who are tired, stressed and stretched to their limits are not in the best position to raise happy, contented children. Choosing a parent-centred lifestyle means giving priority to your own health and well-being, so that you are better equipped to handle your child’s needs.
So don’t feel bad about signing your child up to one or two clubs to give yourself a break therefore! This goes both ways however - spending all of your time ferrying your child from one club to the next (while remembering to wash and pack any swimming costumes, football kits, etc.) can get exhausting as well. Try to find a balance that’s right for your family and encourage children to take responsibility for their own kit and equipment.
6. Children get the chance to be independent
It can be hard as a parent to ‘let go’ of your child, but independence is a valuable skill that your child will need as they grow up. By attending a club, your child will have to listen to other children and adults, follow instructions and make decisions without your help.
Independent activities give your child a chance to make mistakes (and learn that these are a part of life), take risks and go outside of their comfort zone.
7. Confidence boosting
Children will gain confidence from trying new activities; through the successes and failures encountered they will learn about how to deal with these scenarios. Clubs often involve engaging with children from outside their normal social circle, so your child will have the opportunity to interact with new potential friends and learn to deal with new social situations.
But with so many providers how do you decide the class or club that’s right for your child?
When putting your trust in an activity provider, it is important to know your child is in safe hands. Parents should be reassured on vital issues such as insurance, health and safety, training, criminal record checks and qualifications so we recommend choosing from one of the many members of the Children’s Activities Association (CAA). This is a not-for-profit, industry-led organisation that provides standardised quality assurance for children’s activities.
The checks therefore are done for you – so all you need to ask is ‘are you a member of the CAA?’
For more information, please visit the CAA website, their Facebook, or their Twitter.
(1) Tanner, E., Chanfreau, J., Callanan, M., Laing, K., Paylor, J., Skipp, A. and Todd, L. (2016). Can out of school activities close the gap?
(2) Fujiwara, D., Kudrna, L., and Dolan, P. (2014). Quantifying and valuing the wellbeing impacts of culture and sport.
(3) VicHealth. Mental Health Promotion Plan 1999-2002. Carlton, Victoria: Victorian Health Promotion Foundation; 1999.
(4) Berkman LF, Glass T, Brissette I, Seeman T. From social integration to health: Durkheim in the new millenium. Social Science & Medicine 2000;51(6):843-857.
(5) What is the Parenting Model?
For more on Fundamentally Children as founded by Dr Amanda Gummer visit their website.
Giving advice to help with parents of the modern age.
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Copyright © 2017. For digital enquires please visit Digital Relations and for video production enquires please visit TeleVisualise